Medical marijuana dispensary review: The Silver Lizard in Denver
This dispensary has closed.
Originally in Five Points on Welton Street, the Silver Lizard preemptively moved to its current location last January because of its proximity to a school. Though the move undid all the staff's work on Welton, it seems to have worked out for the best, and the shop is making itself at home in a new location.
The Silver Lizard
4400 Grape St., #A
Denver, CO 80216
Hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Online Menu? Yes.
Handicap accessible? Yes
I've heard good things about the Silver Lizard from Facebook friends for some time now. General consensus is that the herb is well grown, the concentrates are amazing, and the prices are phenomenal.
The new location is south of I-70, just east of Holly Street in an industrial area loaded with warehouses and semi-trucks dropping off and picking up goods from companies like Safeway and Coolerado. Next door to the Silver Lizard is an art-supply store -- handy for those of you who enjoy creatively expressing yourself through paint after burning a doobie or two.
But because of the recent move, the shop doesn't seem quite at home in its new space. It's not sloppy or shabby, but a lack of artwork up on the walls and the amount of unused space makes it seem more unfinished than purposefully sparse. On the other hand, it's a clean shop, and the crew members are doing well with that they've got for now.
The entry takes you right into a small, secured room that looks into the receptionist area through a thick, large window. When I stopped by, the receptionist was giving what looked like a consultation to a new Silver Lizard patron (I later found out it was a first-time medical marijuana patient). I handed my card over at a break in their conversation and was let in the shop by my budtender, a tall, friendly woman dressed for the heat outside in shorts and sandals.
The dispensary is a large, rectangular room. One half has been set up as a patient lounge, with a couch and chairs arrayed around a coffee table littered with pot magazines and a flat-screen television tuned to ESPN or CNN or some other channel you can drop right into and be entertained by for a minute while you wait. Along the front side of the building are a few staff offices and one room set aside for clones. The shop had a small tray of healthy $10 clones of HOG during my visit, but that was it -- and the green-painted room looked barren because of it. My budtender said the staffers have been working to get more clones to the shop, though, and they should have restocked with a handful of different strains by this week.
There's no separate bud bar, and as long as you and the patient ahead of you don't mind, you can co-mingle at the bud counters opposite the lounge. Ganja is kept in jars in the main cabinet on shelves also holding T-shirts with the shop's logo. Hash is on a second counter to the right, kept up top in a clear display case. A third case with edibles from vendors like Dr. J's and Dixie took up the far end of the J-shaped setup.
Herb variety wasn't huge the day I was in, with nine strains, including a jar of decent mixed shake that sells for $50 an ounce. Other strains on deck included orange-peel-smelling Tangerine, hippy-stink SAGE, crunchy dry but fruity Lambo, and the Chem-based, cross-dubbed Underdawg. Buds were trimmed tight and cut off of large stems, giving the jars a packed-full appearance and some of the buds, like the MOB and Sage and Sour, a more beat-up look. A grower I spoke with later told me that the center is in the process of moving from an inert, recirculating hydroponic system to an organic coco medium after recently becoming unhappy with results. Herb is capped at $25 an eighth, which is a good deal for the quality. Ounces are even cheaper, with a $200 cap out the door and deals as low as $180 at least once a week.
The real draw at the Silver Lizard was the selection of extremely well-made icewater bubble hash. With easily more choices than was the case with actual bud, the shop clearly takes pride in its extractions. Grams sell for $30, and employees will break those down to a $7.50 quarter-gram for you if that's all you can swing. And do try and swing some of this if you stop by. Perfectly dried and cured, the hash had distinctly different looks and smells depending on which strain-specific or blended mix I was looking at. (Strains like the Tange, Flow, Jilly, OG, Underdawg, Stardawg and Blowfish were available both ways.) The shop also carried third-party BHO called "Moon Rocks," but I didn't give that a second glance next to the hash. I had a momentary freakout from the hash overload and botched my purchase, bringing home a gram of one strain instead of four quarter-grams of different strains.
First-time patients get their first eighth for $10, which was a nice surprise at checkout time. Discounts like this are good gimmicks to get people in the door for the shop, but for a patient, it is a great way to see what a dispensary has to offer without blowing your bank on something you've never smoked. Normally, my purchase would have run me about $55, but with the discount, I walked out at $40 even.
Page down for strain reviews and photos.
As I mentioned, the Lambo was crispified before I got it home. Time spent in the plastic baggie didn't help much, either, and this is clearly not the most photogenic sample I've ever brought home. Some slight burn on some of the sugar leaves and calyxes, with brown samples here and there on pretty much all of the buds due to stress on the plants. Still, the appeal in these Army-green, blended, smoothie-sweet nugs was undeniable and I wasn't disappointed bringing it home. It burned quick in a spliff and a bowl, but it burned clean, leaving a white ash behind and a breezy, light skunkiness to the air. This sativa-dominant blend of a Jamaican haze, Jamaican purple and Super Afghan from T.H. Seeds was potent enough to help get an appetite this week following (yet another) hospital stay over the weekend without getting me too incredibly high and anxious.
Not the most fully developed buds, and some even had touches of brown leaves, pistils and calyxes. But the genetics on this relative to the '91 Chemdawg were strong, and the trichomes were loaded into this sample. Broken up, the buds perfumed my hands and desk with an earthy-cedar smell. Some buds I brought home were better than others, though. The bud in the back left corner of the picture burned harshly on the uptake, despite the robust, Chemdawg rubbery aftertaste it left. The bud in the foreground, on the other hand, was a great sample. It was dense, with well-developed crystals throughout, and made for a much more mellow smoke. A schizophrenic bunch of nuggets for only being two grams, it was overall not the best example of this strain, but still decent at the $25 price tag. Work out a few of the kinks and this would be well worth a second visit.
The hash that Silver Lizard carries is proof that you can make lemonade from lemons. While the two strains above could have used some more TLC, the hash was on point. The rotting-berry sweetness and the indica-leaning family lineage was what drew me to the Blowfish wax, however. While bubble hash is still just a process to a lot of shops, places like Silver Lizard have caught on to the art of solventless hash-making and are not only doing strain-specific waxes, but selling it based on filter size as well. The gram of Blowfish I brought home was so waxy that I was able to drop chunks onto a hot titanium nail and have it bubble down to almost nothing. In a vape, about a tenth of a gram was good enough for several very strong hits that did wonders for easing pain and soreness while at the same time working up a small appetite that grew larger as the pain went away. At $30 a gram for 25-micron strain-specific hash, this was worth the dinero. Other shops cap stuff at this quality at $10 to $15 more per gram.
William Breathes is the pot pen name for Westword's medical marijuana dispensary critic. Read more of his reviews in our marijuana blog, Mile Highs and Lows and keep up with all of your marijuana news over at our news blog, The Latest Word.
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